Saturday, May 5, 2018

Photos of the Terrific End of the Academic Year UMass Amherst INFORMS Party Also Recognizing Chapter Officers

This is that time of the academic year during which classes are over with, some final exams are still taking place, faculty are busy with grading, and many are looking forward to college graduations and associated celebratory events.

Yesterday, we held our end of the semester (actually, academic year) UMass Amherst INFORMS party. That morning I was busy with  a School Personnel Committee Meeting at the Isenberg School and then it was time to catch up on some research and to get ready for the party. My husband and I were bringing two varieties of warm pierogies, kielbasy, and some very special Italian cookies bought in Springfield.
The award certificates for the outstanding Chapter Officers were prepared and these were given out after everyone had consumed a great deal of delicious foods and also had terrific conversations!
The venue for the party was the Isenberg School of Management.
Next year will be the 15th year that I have served as the Faculty Advisor to this award winning INFORMS Student Chapter, which was established in 2004. Many of our members have gone on to receive their PhDs and have assumed jobs in academia or industry and, at least one, is now a Full Professor. Four former Chapter Officers (Tina Wakolbinger, Patrick Qiang, Amir H. Masoumi, and Michael Prokle) have been awarded the Judith Liebman Award from INFORMS for their various activities and leadership roles and I had the pleasure of nominating all of them.

This past year, we have hosted 8 speakers (from MIT, WPI, UMass Amherst, Babson, MITRE, Australia, and Turkey), had a STEM Slam, held a tune-up for the INFORMS conference in Houston, and have had several social events. It has been an extraordinary year.

The turnout for yesterday's party was fabulous with faculty coming not only from several Isenberg School departments (Operations and Information Management, Finance, and Management), but also from the UMass College of Engineering (Mechanical and Industrial Engineering as well as Civil and Environmental Engineering), and from the College of Information and Computer Sciences. Numerous students and even relatives and friends and at least one fiancee were also in attendance! I was delighted that several of the students in my Humanitarian Logistics class also came to the party and there was a guest from Germany, who had just completed a stint in Haiti working with Engineers Without Borders. There were students from Greece, Turkey, China, Iran, Sierra Leone, Mongolia, India, Germany, Colombia, Mexico, and even the USA at the party!

It is wonderful to see the great Operations Research and Management Sciences community that has been built at UMass Amherst with the INFORMS Student Chapter as a unifying entity.
A big thank you to all the faculty who came during this busy time of year to our party (Professors Senay Solak, Mila Sherman, Eric Gonzalez, Eleni Christofa,  Erin Baker, Ana Muriel, Chaitra Gopalappa, Peter Haas, Shannon Roberts, Anuraj Sharma, and Lad Nagurney from the University of Hartford) - this means a tremendous amount to the students.

We had a special cake and then it was time to give out the award certificates.
We took a group photo.
And, at the party, I was very touched by a lovely thank you note given to me. Yes, I keep them all and very much appreciate the thoughtfulness.
See some of you at the graduations and wish everyone a very wonderful and productive summer, filled with great research, writing of articles and books, exciting conferences and travel, and the construction of lovely memories.